The Green Card Lottery:

Your Ticket To The United States


The Diversity Visa Lottery Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, was introduced to promote diversity in the United States by giving citizens of countries who are underrepresented the chance to obtain United States permanent resident visas or green cards. By law, the Diversity Lottery Program makes available a maximum of 55,000 Green Cards each year to eligible persons. Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NCARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NCARA program.

Check My Eligibility

Who Can Apply For The Green Card Lottery Program?

To qualify for the Green Card Lottery program, you must:

  • be a native of a qualifying country and
  • meet either the education or work experience requirement.

Native of A Country Qualifying In The Diversity Visa Program

“Native Country” in most cases means the country in which you were born. However, if you were born in an ineligible country, you can claim eligibility through your spouse or parents.

Each year, the Dept. of State publishes the list of eligible countries.  The list can be found here.

Claiming native country through spouse

You can claim your spouse’s country of birth as your native country provided your spouse was born in an eligible country. If you win the lottery, you and your spouse must both obtain visas and enter the U.S.

Claiming native country through parents

You can claim your parent’s country of birth as your native country provided that neither of your parents was a permanent resident in the country of your birth when you were born.

Generally, the countries not eligible to participate are: Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Other countries are added to this list each year

Meet Education or Work Experience Requirement To Participate In The Diversity Visa Program

To participate in the Diversity Visa Program, you must satisfy either the education or the work experience requirement. You do not have to satisfy both requirements.

Satisfying education requirement

  • You have a U.S. high school diploma OR
  • You have the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma. (Successful completion of a twelve year course of elementary and secondary education in another country comparable to a high school diploma in the United States.)

Satisfying work experience requirement

You must possess at least two years of experience, in the last five years, in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. The Dept. of State uses the US Dept. of Labor’s ONet Online Database to determine the training or experience requirements for the listed job(s).

How To apply?

All entries must be submitted electronically during the registration period. (For DV-2007 the registration period is between Wednesday, October 18, 2017 and Wednesday, November 22, 2017). Paper entries are not accepted. Applications submitted before/after the stipulated period are not accepted.

Only one entry for each applicant may be submitted during the registration period. Duplicate or multiple entries will disqualify individuals from registration for this program.

How Are The Winners Selected?

The lottery center sorts and individually numbers all application received for DV Lottery Program into six groups based on the geographic region of the applicant. The computer then randomly selects applications from among the applications received for each geographic region. DV Lottery Program Entrants must check on the Dept. of State DV Lottery site in May of the following year to see if they have been chosen.  For DV-2019, the status check will open on May 15, 2018.

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Do You Need An Attorney To Participate In The Green Card Lottery?

You do not necessarily require an attorney’s services to participate in the Green Card Lottery. However, you need to ensure that your application will be prepared complying all Department of State regulations. Millions of applications submitted each year are rejected for not being prepared properly as per the instructions given out by the Department of State.

You may, however, need the assistance of an attorney once your application is selected in the DV Lottery. The process to obtain the green card or immigrant visa can be complex for some people.


The experienced staff and attorneys at VisaPro can thoroughly review your Green Card Lottery application for correctness and compliance with all technical rules and regulations. VisaPro can also submit your error-free application for guaranteed entry in the USA Green Card Lottery Program. You may also consult our attorneys to determine whether you and/or your family members are eligible for the lottery. We guarantee that your application will reach the Lottery Center electronically during the official entry period.

Also, if you are a winner, VisaPro will assist you in relocating to the USA, provide personal assistance after you arrive, and help you find a job or start a business. Our experienced Immigration Attorneys may also assist you with Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing.

You may visit our Green Card Lottery website for more information program and detailed instructions for filing your application.

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